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NBA Finals - The Problem with Steph Curry


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On 6/17/2022 at 4:58 PM, Tywin et al. said:

Tatum shot 32 FTs in the Finals. He only had two when Wiggins was guarding him. Damn. Wiggins blocked him more times than that plus he turned him over a ton. Oh, BTW, Tatum had a record 100 turnovers in the playoffs. Yikes.

And thats Wiggins shutting down Tatum, which he deserves a ton of credit for in itself, but its the second series in a row.

He was already way more effective against Luka than anyone on Phoenix as well, and their best defender on Luka.

So Wiggins has emerged as a crucial piece of this run, and I suspect they realize that very well in San Francisco too.

Edited by Calibandar
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49 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

And thats Wiggins shutting down Tatum, which he deserves a ton of credit for in itself, but its the second series in a row.

He was already way more effective against Luka than anyone on Phoenix as well, and their best defender on Luka.

So Wiggins has emerged as a crucial piece of this run, and I suspect they realize that very well in San Francisco too.

I said here repeatedly that it was odd Luka struggled to get past Wiggins, but he just blew by Bridges who was first team NBA All-D.

Also, that's another horrible trade by Philly giving up Bridges for nothing of value.

Edited by Tywin et al.
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Context:

 

Quote

Kyrie Irving and the Nets are currently at an impasse in conversations about his future, clearing the way for  Irving to enter unrestricted free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Irving has until the June 29th deadline to make a decision on his 36.9 million dollar player option for next season, and according to Charania talks between him and the Nets have stalled out. This will clear the way for Irving to enter unrestricted free agency, where the Lakers, Clippers, and Knicks are all expected to pursue him.  For the Lakers and Clippers, Irving would likely have to opt into his contract and then agree to be traded in order for the two teams to match his incoming salary with players heading out. For the Knicks, the path would be a bit easier, as they would just have to shed a few contracts in order to sign Irving. This will be an intriguing development to follow, so be sure to check back with us for updates over the course of the next few weeks.

So last week there was a report that all was swell and he was expected to re-sign with the Nets.

Now, the opposite comes out. Makes me wonder what Irving is thinking here, the Nets have done nothing but stood by him despite public opinion being against it , but he cannot reasonably expect them to give him a super high paying long-term deal based on his performance the last seasons.

Of course even though is the primary story, its the " whats gonna happen to Durant if he leaves"  is to me the more interesting one.

Edited by Calibandar
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1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

Of course even though is the primary story, its the " whats gonna happen to Durant if he leaves"  is to me the more interesting one.

I want to say Kyrie is nutty to think a team will give him a long term deal, but there's always desperate teams. Kyrie has played in fewer than 50% of the games over the last three seasons and got hurt each year. At his size that alone is enough to make smart money pass on him.

To the above, I think the answer is probably nothing. The Nets aren't making public comments like this, or more specifically when I believe Marks just straight up called him out for being selfish, without KD's blessing. 

Here's a scenario that should play out as everyone wins: Have a three team trade with Brooklyn, either LA team and Washington. They should send Beal to Brooklyn, Brooklyn sends Kyrie out West and Washington gets either Westbrook and a pick from the Lakers or a pick and expiring contracts from the Clips and the Nets send Washington multiple firsts (they have two from Philly through the Harden trade) and a couple of swaps. I can easily see Washington winding up with four firsts and two swaps. Not bad for a much needed blow up and rebuild.

Edited by Tywin et al.
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Kept hearing throughout the day there's a hilarious pic of Wiggs floating around the internet. Been there:

 

The comments are hilarious. 

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Thinking Basketball's Greatest Peaks had the top 10 since 1977 in order as Lebron, Jordan, Shaq, Dream, Bird, Kareem, Curry, Garnett, Duncan, and Johnson.  Personally I can't just leave off Wilt and Russell, so my personal top 10 would be:

Top 2:  Jordan, Lebron

Spots 3-10 in no order: Shaq, Bird, Kareem, Curry, Duncan, Johnson, Russell, Wilt.

I'm leaving off Hakeem and Garnett mostly because I feel like this list is already way too heavy with big men and I don't think their careers quite compare to Duncan or Shaqs.

But really it is extremely hard for me to differentiate between anybody on that 3-10 list.  The comparisons are often so dissimilar to make a reasonable comparison impossible.  Nobody should be wasting time arguing if Curry is better than Russell, it is just a ridiculous argument to make.  Even for guys who played against each other like Duncan vs Shaq, the comparison feels somewhat empty with their strengths and shortcomings being so incredibly different.  

If I'm making an all time starting 5 from that list, it somewhat depends on what era that team is going to play.  If it's era indeterminate (IE, could be 70s, could be 90s, could be today), I'd probably favor Magic over Curry.  Curry would be terrible in the pre-3 point era and would probably get physically mauled and injured in the 90s.  But obviously if we're talking about the last 10 years, Curry is far superior to Magic.  Then that just leaves Center, which is always extremely hard to pick.  I personally lean towards Russell, because I think that he'd be amazing in any era (obviously in later eras he would be hitting the weights more).  He doesn't need the ball nearly as much as any of the other great centers, and given the offensive players around him that's a good thing. 

Magic, Jordan, Lebron, Duncan, Russell.  I want to add the obvious caveat that this team is probably at its weakest in today's game of any possible era.  If I were building an all time team to play right now, I would definitely be subbing out Magic for Curry, and probably both of the big men as well.  Hell, I might even have some sort of crazy lineup like Curry, Jordan, Lebron, Durant, Dirk.  Because the amount of spacing that would afford would be absolutely criminal, even if it does lack a bit of bulk against a Shaq or Wilt led team. 

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41 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Personally I can't just leave off Wilt and Russell:

 

Me neither.  Agree I'd take KG off it to make room, then debate between Hakeem and Shaq.

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

Me neither.  Agree I'd take KG off it to make room, then debate between Hakeem and Shaq.

I loathe Shaq's game, and I rooted against his teams for his entire post-Magic career.  I think that to some extent officials just didn't know what to do with Shaq because every time he got the ball it was either a foul on him or his defender.  So you either foul him out every game or let him play by a different set of rules, and they went with the latter. 

But unless you are handicapping him for officiating, it is really hard for me to place him outside the top 10.  Very few guys ever dominated the league the way Shaq did. 

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

Very few guys ever dominated the league the way Shaq did.

Can't deny that, but Hakeem's all-around game is just so under-appreciated.  The guy average 1.7 steals a game for his career.  He did literally everything you'd want a big man to do at an elite level, at least back then (and I'm sure if he was around today he could've learned to shoot threes).  Plus, when the two met in the finals the Rockets swept.  (Yes, yes, Shaq was still young - and Nick Anderson - but still.)

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Shaq over Dream is a pretty easy decision for me. 

And I was surprised KG was even included on that list as he's not on any of the other guys' levels. Shit, KD is probably a top 15 player and I don't think you can say that about KG.

1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Top 2:  Jordan, Lebron

Spots 3-10 in no order: Shaq, Bird, Kareem, Curry, Duncan, Johnson, Russell, Wilt.

I'm leaving off Hakeem and Garnett mostly because I feel like this list is already way too heavy with big men and I don't think their careers quite compare to Duncan or Shaqs.

But really it is extremely hard for me to differentiate between anybody on that 3-10 list. 

I think Kareem belongs in that top tier. He's the only other player that could possibly be considered the best ever, especially if we're including what he did before he became a pro. 

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6 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I think Kareem belongs in that top tier. He's the only other player that could possibly be considered the best ever, especially if we're including what he did before he became a pro. 

?  You could definitely argue that Russell or Wilt are the best ever just as easily as Kareem.  Most of Kareem's arguments for being the best (as opposed to merely amongst the best) is due to his career longevity, which doesn't really move the needle much for me in terms of best ever. 

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Yeah Jordan and LeBron are rather clearly and distinctly in a league of their own.  Other than KG, I'd probably rank the other guys mentioned in as many different ways as tries you gave me to do so.

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35 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

?  You could definitely argue that Russell or Wilt are the best ever just as easily as Kareem.  Most of Kareem's arguments for being the best (as opposed to merely amongst the best) is due to his career longevity, which doesn't really move the needle much for me in terms of best ever. 

I view them like I view Jim Brown. They were the greatest ever at playing a different game with a different league structure.

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7 minutes ago, DMC said:

Yeah Jordan and LeBron are rather clearly and distinctly in a league of their own.  Other than KG, I'd probably rank the other guys mentioned in as many different ways as tries you gave me to do so.

This is imperfect, but I feel like there's sort of like three eras of NBA basketball.  Prior to the 3 point line (before 1979), then the grind it out era of 79-early 2000s, then the spacing era of the present day.  Jordan was unquestionably the best player of the grind it out era, and Lebron is unquestionably the best player of the spacing era.  So if you want to pick another player who could be an NBA GOAT, you need to look to the era before the 3 point line. 

The problem is that it's really hard to properly gauge and appreciate those players because the video quality sucks, plenty of games aren't available and the level of competition/coaching is just not what it is in the two later eras.  Wilt, Kareem and Russell were all incredible athletes, as is obvious in their highlight reels.  But a lot of the guys defending them were just random tall dudes, nothing like the depth of talent the NBA had in the 90s, let alone today.  Nobody will score 100 ever again in the NBA, because NBA defenses are just too talented and have too much pride.  If you started down that path, they'll give you a hard doubleteam all the time and make you pass the ball (or just hoist up a bunch of terrible shots and fail to get to 100 that way). 

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40 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

The problem is that it's really hard to properly gauge and appreciate those players because the video quality sucks, plenty of games aren't available and the level of competition/coaching is just not what it is in the two later eras.

Agreed, luckily I'm not old enough to have a good enough gauge on those guys.  Did mean to say before I saw your post though - if we're taking into account pre-1977 players I'd probably put Robertson in the conversation with all the other guys mentioned too (and again, ahead of Garnett).

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3 hours ago, Maithanet said:

If I'm making an all time starting 5 from that list, it somewhat depends on what era that team is going to play.  If it's era indeterminate (IE, could be 70s, could be 90s, could be today), I'd probably favor Magic over Curry.  Curry would be terrible in the pre-3 point era and would probably get physically mauled and injured in the 90s.  But obviously if we're talking about the last 10 years, Curry is far superior to Magic.  Then that just leaves Center, which is always extremely hard to pick.  I personally lean towards Russell, because I think that he'd be amazing in any era (obviously in later eras he would be hitting the weights more).  He doesn't need the ball nearly as much as any of the other great centers, and given the offensive players around him that's a good thing. 

Liking and quoting because I don't think Bill Russell gets nearly enough cred, even (or especially) in Boston.

Dude wasn't just the center for 11 championships in 13 years, he was the coach for two of them.

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